Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still Sheaing Hey

Full props & pounds to No Mas and Uni Watch for their campaign to call the new Mets Stadium "Shea."

After all, Citigroup didn't pay any of us fans to call the stadium what they want. Us fans are free to call the park whatever we'd like, and nothing makes more sense than calling it what us fans have always called it, "Shea."

As any Mets fan knows, William Shea willed the team into being. At the time, as Jimmy Breslin reported in his 1963 classic "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" Major League owners were content to let the Yanks enjoy a monopoly over big league ball in the big apple. William Shea ensured this would once again become a National League town.

The Mets should never have taken Citi's money. No doubt it's hard to turn down $20 mil a year, but the Yanks surely turned down more dough than that for their new bandbox. New Shea was the Mets big chance to get on level footing with the Yanks in at least the stadium department. The Yanks turning the money down makes the Mets look even tackier than the billboards for Geico and Caesar's Palace that adorn the facade facing Northern Boulevard.

William Shea's name could have at least been preserved at the #7 station, but the MTA oddly chose to go with "Mets-Willets Point." "Shea Station" is a more proper, and his name is worth preserving more than the obscure Charles Willet, who was an early 19th century landowner.

Of course, to many this is just semantics. A bigger issue is the lack of fannies in New Shea's seats.
I'm sure the Wilpons/Coupons had a good laugh in figuring that if the Mets averaged around 5o,000 in old Shea's last years, then if they dropped New Shea's capacity they could ensure sellouts every night. Well, they dridopped New Shea's capacity to around 41,000 seats, yet are only averaging 36,907 a game so far through 6 games in decent April weather.

Here's a comparison of the attendance figures for the first six games last year and this year.

Game 1 2008: 56,350
Game 1 2009: 41,007

Game 2 2008: 47,127
Game 2 2009: 35,581

Game 3 2008: 49,045
Game 3 2009: 35,985

Game 4 2008: 46,214
Game 4 2009: 36,436

Game 5 2008: 54,701
Game 5 2009: 36,312

Game 6 2008: 52,794
Game 6 2009: 36,124

I don't care how many Excelsior boxes they sell and how many Shake Shake burgers they push, losing 15,000 fans a game has to mean less cake for the Coups.

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